In my experience, confidence is the most important attribute you can have in business. There is nothing more important than confidence, and I’m sure you have figured this out if you present to clients to win work. Clients watch you very carefully, and they view a lack of confidence as a lack of competence.
I’m going to say that again because it’s really important: Clients view a lack of confidence as a lack of competence.
Clients think you can’t do the job if you can’t stand in front of them and grab their attention with your passion, conviction, and firm belief in the work you do. Now I’m sure you’ve seen this to be true. You’ve been in situations where you’ve bid on a job against a slick account exec or someone who shows amazing confidence in their presentation style. And maybe you know that this person’s agency isn’t right for the project or their firm just can’t pull it off as well as you can. But just because this person shows a lot of presence and confidence and they wow the client, they get the work.
(And then later on you find out they got fired or they couldn’t give the client what they needed—you knew all along you were a better fit for this client. They were ‘faking it’ but ‘making it’ didn’t work out so well.) But you didn’t show the confidence that this person/agency did, and you can’t really blame the client for choosing them. The client couldn’t tell you were the right firm for the job, because you didn’t show them. And this happens all the time.
And maybe you’ve tried this ‘faking it till you make it’ thing, like I did. And it made you feel so fakey and icky and salesy and inauthentic and awful, and it went against every creative bone in your body, so you’re not going to do that anymore, ever.
So what can you do? [Read the full article.…]
This week, while on a coaching call with a client, he asked a question I’ve only been asked a handful of times before. But the answer to his question, I realized later, is the answer to so many questions about business.
And relationships. And just life in general.
Mark asked me, “What do you think is the one thing you’ve done that is responsible for your success?”
The first thing I thought of was George Clooney. (I like to think of George Clooney, but it’s not what you think.)
I recently saw an interview with a young actor. When asked a similar question about his career, the actor replied, “George Clooney gave me the best advice I’ve ever gotten. He said, ‘Don’t ever let me see you acting.’”
“Don’t ever let me see you acting.”
“Don’t ever let me see you selling.”
“Don’t ever let me see you pushing your [Read the full article.…]
That’s so much like bragging, and didn’t your mother tell you not to brag?
We don’t like being sold to and don’t want our clients to feel that way.
So much about selling and marketing our businesses gives us that icky feeling.
Everyone should just know, right?
They should be able to tell how wonderful we are by looking. By seeing our work. By engaging with us. And knowing how sincere and talented we are and what we are capable of, because it oozes out of every cell in our bodies.
Except it doesn’t work that way.
We all pretty much look the same to clients
It doesn’t work that way because there are so many of us. So many talented, wonderful, sincere, capable, creative business owners for clients to choose between—and they can’t tell the difference. Add to that the number of not-so-talented, not-so-wonderful, insincere, incapable business owners who can talk a good game, and you’ve got a real conundrum for clients—how to choose? I mean, can you see how difficult it is for them when we all pretty much look and sound the same?
Follow these rules to overcome your reluctance for sales:
1. Talk about the passion you have for your work. No one automatically knows anything. Not about you, your business, or what you can do for them. You have to talk about it—a lot. In person, in writing, in your marketing. Talk, talk, talk.
2. Sales pitches aren’t [Read the full article.…]